ArtStart

Books! Books! Books!

In 2012, I produced two books as a result of an ArtStart mentorship with two wonderful Melbourne-based photographers, Georgia Metaxas and Louis Porter. The two books contained images shot on a roadtrip I took into the Australian outback in late 2011. The books were printed on my new Epson 3880 (thank you ArtStart!) on a beautiful 190gsm rag paper produced by Moab and featured a machine sewn binding.

Two quite different bodies of work emerged from the 2 week, 4000 kilometre plus roadtrip in the outback. The first, 'Below' features aerial images taken on a flight over Lake Eyre. The title of the series was inspired by the lake being Australia’s lowest point, situated approximately 15 metres below our current sea level. From the shore, it felt impossible to render the vastness of the salt lake with any accuracy and besides, Murray Fredericks had already done a fine job of that. Once above the lake, what became fascinating to me was the beauty of the naturally created patterns. Receding flood waters had drawn on the earth’s surface, forming patterns of salt and soil. Patterns that reminded me of the Abstract Expressionist paintings I have always admired.

The second series, 'Bruce' consists of images of a lone man, my father, dotted throughout the Australian landscape. We never quite see his face in detail as he interacts with the landscape, people, animals and me, the photographer in various ways. I intended this series to be a humorous take on our particular father/daughter relationship and a document of our roadtrip together.

I thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating these books and I am currently creating more books from my travels in 2012. I'm feeling particularly inspired after being fortunate enough to attend Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair recently (which incidentally included a very awkward conversation with one of my photographic and bookmaking heroes, Alec Soth and the pleasure of seeing Dan and Justine from Melbourne-based Perimeter Books at their stall). It was encouraging to see the magnitude and variety of wonderful books available at the fair, from handmade one-offs to self-published and conventionally published titles. And Alec Soth even signed a copy of his new book, Looking for Love, for me.

Apple from the Tree

I am currently undertaking an internship in the programming team at Footscray Community Arts Centre in Melbourne's West. This internship forms part of my ArtStart grant activities. The main project I have been working on since late 2011 is the centre's upcoming exhibition, Apple from the Tree. I'm pleased to have the opportunity to work with Michael Brennan, FCAC's Programming Manager in the curation of this exhibition. We've invited locally engaged artists to create artworks with and alongside their kids to explore the idea of 'nature versus nurture' in the realm of creativity. The artists took up the challenge with great enthusiasm and we've received works spanning a variety of different artforms.

The exhibition opens on Thursday 2nd February at 6pm and will run until Sunday 18th of March.

If you haven't visited FCAC yet perhaps now is a good time to start!

ArtStart

Earlier this year I applied for an ArtStart grant through the Australian Council for the Arts. In late May I was excited to discover that my application was successful. ArtStart is a grant designed to assist recent arts graduates in making the transition from study to creating a sustainable career in the arts. The grant period runs for 12 months and can be spent on a variety of activities and equipment relevant to your own personal career development. I am utilising my funding to purchase essential photographic equipment and develop skills that will assist not only in my own practice but continue my involvement in community-based visual arts. This skill development will be facilitated through a mentorship with two fantastic Melbourne-based photographers Georgia Metaxas and Louis Porter. In addition, I will be undertaking a internship at Footscray Community Arts Centre; an organisation very close to my heart. I have also used some of the grant money to join NAVA and purchase some of their resource books.